Thursday, August 14, 2014

Hepatitis - a wide spread ticking time bomb

Compulsory HBV vaccination has been instituted in Malaysia since 1989. Nevertheless, hepatitis B remains an important cause of morbidity and mortality.

Chronic hepatitis B is a worldwide phenomenon, and it is estimated that there are more than 350 million hepatitis B virus (HBV) carriers in the world, with 75% of them living in the Asia Pacific region, where the majority of infections are acquired perinatally (period immediately before and after birth) or in early childhood.

Approximately one million people die from HBV-related liver disease every year. The implementation of effective vaccination programmes in many countries has resulted in a significant decrease in the incidence of acute hepatitis B.

Compulsory HBV vaccination has been instituted in Malaysia since 1989. Nevertheless, hepatitis B remains an important cause of morbidity and mortality, and many individuals who carry the virus (HBsAg-positive) remain undetected and unaware of the infection, and therefore, pose a danger to themselves and others close to them.

Patients with chronic hepatitis B seldom exhibit symptoms apart from fatigue, unless they have complications such as decompensated liver cirrhosis.

Physical examination may be completely normal. Those with end-stage liver disease may have jaundice, big spleen, ascites, leg swelling and encephalopathy.

Routine laboratory tests may be normal. There may be mild to moderate increase in liver enzymes (serum AST and ALT), which can increase dramatically and substantially in patients who develop exacerbations.

Doctors following up patients with apparent “silent” chronic hepatitis B will look for signs of progression to cirrhosis evidenced by hypersplenism (big spleen with decreased white blood cell and platelet counts) or impaired liver synthetic function, such as low serum albumin, prolonged prothrombin time and high serum bilirubin levels.

The natural course of chronic hepatitis B infection is determined by the interplay between virus replication and the host immune response.

Other factors that can influence the progression of HBV-related liver disease include gender, alcohol consumption and concomitant infection with other hepatitis viruses.

The outcome of chronic hepatitis B infection depends on how severe the liver disease is at the time HBV replication is suppressed.

Patients with this infection may be in an inactive carrier state, but can progress to cirrhosis, hepatic decompensation and liver cancer, which may prove fatal.

The prognosis is worse in HBV-infected patients from endemic areas like South-East Asia.

Twelve to 20% of patients with chronic hepatitis B may progress to cirrhosis; 20 to 23% of those with compensated cirrhosis can progress to hepatic decompensation; while 6 to 15% will progress to liver cancer within five years.

Patients with compensated cirrhosis have an 85% survival rate at five years, while those with decompensated cirrhosis have survival rates of 55 to 70% at one year and 14 to 35% at five years.

Presently, doctors may wish to know the viral genotype of their chronic hepatitis B patients. Traditionally, eight genotypes (A to H) have been identified, with genotypes B and C being more prevalent in East Asia and South-East Asia, where perinatal or vertical transmission plays an important role.

Genotype B patients are also associated with spontaneous seroconversion (HBeAg to antiHBe) at a younger age, have less active liver disease, and show slower progression to cirrhosis and less frequent liver cancer than genotype C.

Laboratory tests include a complete blood count, liver enzymes (AST, ALT), total bilirubin, alkaline phosphatase, albumin, prothrombin time and tests for HBV replication (HBeAg, anti-HBe, HBV DNA).

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Hepatitis C treatment that brought happiness back to my married life

Article by Mr. Gyan Sagar
Hepatitis c disease is a very dangerous disease. When i came to know that my second wife who is pregnant. I had gone in rajendra nagar hospital on the date 18/10/2013 in rajendra nagar to meet Dr. Sunita Chandra. She write in her prescription for medical test & when i got the medical report it said my wife is  Hepatitis C Positive

After I got this medical report, i had become so disturbed i also had a fight with my wife that her family fooled me that her family did not tell me about this disease & her family had done wronged me and now i will not sustain this relationship. I sent my wife to her village. After that i had decided that i will not make this relation on a/c of  HCV!
But after some time i made a call to my Ustadji who is my best friend. He advised me Mr. Gyan, if you have the same disease, “what will be your decision!” i had got my answer that i was wrong there!
After that i started to search on internet  for hepatitis C treatment & i made a call to my wife to come back to my home. I told her that I will give her the treatment after that once again i try to retest may be medical report was  incorrect!

But once again i had got medical report HCV Positive. After some time i found a website for Kamalahar. It was an ayurvedic medicine for six month course. I had ordered to the owner of website kindly send me this medicine. He told me I will have to deposit the money in their account after that they will send the medicine. When i paid him the medicine came after one week later. All medicine had come to my residence. He advised me after 3 month later we will get the HCV result Negative in medical test. After that i had started the treatment of my wife. Today 02/06/2014 when Dr. Mitali Das Saha told me that a long period has become passed and advised me to do the test of Anti HCV.

  After that i had gone Care Dignostic for this test and after one day i got the report.

 I came to know then anti HCV result has come NON REACTIVE & her illness has finished i am so much surprised. Because doctor advised me for anti HCV test also  so i  do this test & my report also come NON REACTIVE.

I had never thought that her illness will finished in a very small period but god is great.

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Hepatitis B infections in Kenya surpass HIV

The rate of Hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection in Kenya is currently three times higher than that of HIV, a study has revealed. The statistics indicate that the prevalence rate of HBV has risen and surpassed that of HIV three-fold in a span of two years.

A nationwide research conducted last year revealed that out of about 150,000 people who donated blood, 1,200 were found to be HIV-positive while 3,000 were diagnosed with HBV.

Like HIV, HBV is also transmitted through sexual intercourse, contaminated blood and from a mother to her child. If untreated, HBV could lead to liver cirrhosis and liver cancers. This should be cause for alarm, as similar high data is being registered among HIV infected persons, showing a rising prevalence of co-infection with HBV.

Co-infected persons have an increased rate of liver disease, higher HBV and HIV viral loads, and poor response to anti-retroviral drugs.

HBV is 50 to 100 times more infectious than HIV and health workers who accidentally get needle stick injuries have a much higher chance of infection from HBV than from HIV. Approximately ten per cent of pregnant women and over 30 per cent of liver patients in Kenya are HBV infected.

Given that blood donors are a very highly selected population, researchers and stakeholders now contend that the prevalence in the general population may be much higher. It is, therefore, important that HIV infected persons also seek HBV testing.

In an endeavour to control the virus’ increasingly worrying trends, the Ministry of Health intends to create awareness through educating people about the dangers of HBV infections ahead of World Hepatitis Day marked on July 28th each year.

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Kolkata kids susceptible to liver ailments

Kids and their parents should be careful. The next time the kids gorge on junk food, the parents and children should keep in mind that those burgers and rolls are pushing their liver in a wrong direction. According to a study conducted by Diabetes Awareness and You (DAY) - a platform of clinical specialists - children in Kolkata now have a weaker liver and are more prone to diseases than they were 15 years ago. An alarming 12-15% of kids and adolescents between 12 and 16 years of age suffer from fatty liver. It can eventually lead to more serious and life-threatening ailments like cirrhosis and liver cancer. While fat-rich food and a sedentary lifestyle are being blamed for the threat, doctors warn that liver diseases could be the second most common ailment in the city, after diabetes, in another 15 years.

Conducted across 23 up-market schools in Kolkata, the study involved a routine SGPT test, which provided a shocking result. It showed that 12-15% had signs of fatty liver. A majority of these children were obese as well. It confirms the worst fears about the impact of fast food and aerated drinks. Coupled with lack of exercises, these have started taking a heavy toll on the health of children. Over the years, many of them are likely to suffer from non-alcoholic fatty liver disease or cirrhosis of liver. They will also be more prone to jaundice.

The study also revealed that children suffering from fatty liver consumed more packaged food and carbonated drinks than the rest. On an average, they had less than 30 minutes of physical activity per day. According to health experts, fatty liver was the major cause of cirrhosis among adults. Change in food habits over the last 10-12 years is now taking a toll on young adults. Those in their early or mid-thirties are often suffering from non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) that was quite rare a decade ago. Unless treated on time, this can lead to liver cirrhosis.

NAFLD heightens the risk of cardio-vascular diseases. Build-up of fat cells within the liver leads to NAFLD. Over a period of time, it can damage liver tissues. Unless controlled, it eventually leads to cirrhosis. Unlike 10-15 years ago, when cirrhosis or NAFLD patients would be above 50 years of age, now people across all age groups are falling prey. In many cases, the disease is being detected at an acute stage which means it had set in at a very young age.

It is difficult to identify fatty liver at an initial stage, experts said. There are hardly any symptoms till the disease takes on an acute form. So obesity or a sudden weight gain needs to be taken seriously. Overweight children are more likely to have fat deposits in the liver. Till now, it goes undetected in most cases. The result is that these patients end up with multiple diseases like cardiac disorders, blood sugar, obesity and liver failure at a later age. Usually, this cluster is a constellation and one leads to another. Unless dealt with at the earliest, we can't prevent them.

Fatty liver is not unusual even among children as young as six to eight years. Accordingly to the experts, ten years ago, it would be very rare, but no longer. Overweight children often have fat deposits in the liver and junk food is squarely responsible for this.

Park County, Wyoming, USA sees a surge in hepatitis C cases

Health officials are investigating an increase in reported cases of the liver disease hepatitis C among young people in Park County, Wyoming, USA with evidence suggesting needle sharing among intravenous drug users might be to blame.

The probe came after 56 new reports of hepatitis C infections were logged in the county in 2012 — a figure that exceeds the state average and is about double the number of the year before.

The spike in the disease, which is transmitted by blood, involved people from 20 to 34.

It's possible some of the new reports involved people who have moved into Park County for substance-abuse treatment, but officials say they don't know how much that has contributed. The county's rate has been rising since 2008.

The Department of Health and Public Health spearheaded a campaign in May to raise awareness of the problem. It hung posters around the county warning people that if they're injecting drugs, they may be at risk for communicable diseases and hepatitis.

In the initial stages, infected people are unlikely to display symptoms. But once the infection progresses over several years, a person may have elevated liver enzymes and feel joint pain, fatigue and chronic abdominal pain. Liver damage or cancer can result from the disease.

Friday, November 22, 2013

Most Canadians infected with hepatitis unaware of it

Seventy per cent of the about 138,600 Canadians infected with hepatitis C based on blood tests did not know they had the virus, according to a recent study.

The results from the Canadian Health Measures Survey come amid calls for baby boomers to be screened with a one-time test for hepatitis C infection (HCV), which liver specialists say can be eradicated if treated early.

Accurate infection awareness is important for health-care seeking, receipt of treatment, vaccination uptake, and disease prevention, but more than half of respondents who tested positive for hepatitis B and hepatitis C did not know that they were infected.

Hepatitis C is transmitted through blood, blood products, organs, tissues and cell transplants, infected needles and other sharp objects, and from mother to infant during pregnancy.

The prevalence of HCV infection from blood tests was 0.5 per cent, which represents an estimated 138,600 people.

Accordingly to some of the experts, the survey severely underestimates the true number of patients infected with hepatitis C in Canada. According to a liver specialist, since the hepatitis C test first became available in 1991 or '92, there have been about 300,000 people identified as having hepatitis C. One of the reasons could be that the survey did not include patients from immigrant communities who don't speak English.

For present hepatitis B infections, the prevalence was 0.4 per cent, representing an estimated 111,800.

Among those who tested positive for HCV, 69.5 per cent said they were not aware of the infection. For those with  hepatitis B, 54.5 per cent said they didn't know they had it.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Ayurvedic herbs can treat liver problem including Fatty liver, Hepatitis, Cirrhosis, Ascites and Jaundice

Kamalahar is enriched with various herbs proven to be very effective for the treatment of liver problems. It has Tecoma undulata, Phyllanthus urinaria, Embelia ribes, Taraxacum officinale, Nyctanthes arbortritis and Terminalia arjuna.

Tecoma undulata is an herb which is proven to have medicinal property that helps in curing liver diseases especially for the treatment of hepatitis. It is also used in curing urinary disorders, enlargement of spleen, gonorrhea and leucoderma. Seeds are used against abscess.

Phyllanthus urinaria has been used for centuries to promote healthy elimination of gallstones and kidney stones. It is also used for the treatment of liver disease especially hepatitis B. Phyllanthus urinaria primarily contains lignans (e.g. phyllanthine and hypophyllanthine), gallic acid, alkaloids, and bioflavonoids (e.g. quercetin). While it remains unknown as to which of these substances has an antiviral effect, researchers believe that this herb acts primarily on the liver. Other research has revealed other possible benefits like helping to soothe the liver, detoxification of the liver and kidneys, relief from pain and inflammation, reducing oxidative stress, and an ability to inhibit hepatitis B virus DNA replication. It is believed that the possible benefit that phyllanthus urinaria provides in cases of liver damage could be due to the plants anti-viral activity. In Ayurvedic medicine, Phyllanthus has been used for over 2000 years in India for many medicinal uses for those with liver disease including hepatitis.

Embelia ribes is quite beneficial in the treatment of liver ailments especially jaundice and also for strengthening the body. It also helps with gastric problem by either preventing formation of gas in the gastrointestinal tract or facilitates the expulsion of gas. It is also quite useful against tape-worms. It is believed to be useful against skin diseases, bronchitis, urinary discharges, Dyspepsia, hemicrania, worms in wounds etc.

Taraxacum officinale is believed to have a medicinal value, in particular against liver problems. It is also known to be a Diuretic and quite beneficial in the treatment of liver cirrhosis. It is also used in herbal medicines as a mild laxative, for increasing appetite, and for improving digestion. The milky latex has been used as a mosquito repellent and as a folk remedy to treat warts.

Nyctanthes arbortritis is known for its important place in Hindu mythology and this plant has many common names like Indian Night Jasmine. The flower, seeds and leaves of the plant are diuretic, antibacterial, anthelmintic, anti-inflammatory, hepatoprotective, immunopotential, anti pyretic, antioxidant, anti fungal, anti-bilious, sedative and antifilarial. It is useful in the treatment of many diseases including liver disorder. Its extract has proven by researchers to have significant hepatoprotective activity, which is ability to prevent damage to the liver and also hepatoregenerative. The herb in combination with other herbs is quite beneficial in the treatment of hepatitis, cirrhosis, alcohol liver diseases and other liver disorders. Apart from liver disorder, the herb has been used in the treatment of affections of scalp, rheumatic joint pain, malaria, snakebite, bronchitis, sciatica, chronic fever, rheumatism, internal worm infections, high blood pressure, diabetes, piles and skin diseases. Some people have also used the herb in the treatment of cancer.

Terminalia arjuna is high in co-enzyme Q-10 and helps in the treatment of cirrhosis of liver and reduces blood pressure.The arjuna was introduced into Ayurveda as a treatment for heart disease by Vagbhata. It is traditionally prepared as a milk decoction. In the Ashtānga Hridayam, Vagbhata mentions arjuna in the treatment of wounds, hemorrhages and ulcers, applied topically as a powder.
The combination of these herbs is what makes Kamalahar very effective in the treatment of liver disorders including hepatitis, cirrhosis, fatty liver, ascites and jaundice.